Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Early Childhood Education (ECE) 4: Parental Involvement and Support

Parents are active participants and partners and receive the support and information needed to promote healthy child development.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (ECE)

VIEW THE STANDARDS

Purpose

Early Childhood Education facilitates appropriate child development and ensures the health and safety of children in care.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
  • Samples of classroom information provided to parents from the previous six months
  • Parent/teacher conference schedule for the previous 12 months
  • Samples of information on child-rearing responsibilities available to parents
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Review child files
  • Observe systems/tools for daily communication with parents

ECE 4.01

Parents have access to daily schedules and other classroom information including a menu if meals are provided.
Examples: The organization may use classroom bulletin boards, newsletters, a webpage, or email to provide parents with consistent access to classroom information.

ECE 4.02

Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in the program.
Examples: Active involvement in the program can include participation in classroom activities as an aid or volunteer, parent education meetings, parent advisory boards, regular parent meetings, or sitting on the organization’s governing body. Having an open-door policy is one effective method for encouraging parents to visit the program, meet with their child’s teacher, and participate in daily activities or special events.

ECE 4.03

Parents are helped to understand and be actively involved in their child’s development and education through:
  1. participation in decisions affecting their child;
  2. daily updates and two-way communication of information regarding activities, accomplishments, or concerns;
  3. parent-teacher conferences that are held biannually, or more often as needed, given the child’s progress;
  4. assistance with recognizing developmental, health, or behavioral issues that may require additional services or support; and
  5. visits to the program.
Examples: Services and supports for meeting health needs can include hearing and vision screenings, resources for immunizations and well-baby check-ups, and the state and local health department.

ECE 4.04

Teaching staff discuss cultural values and beliefs with parents and:
  1. adjust caregiving practices, daily routines, and classroom activities as appropriate and in accordance with developmentally-appropriate practice; 
  2. approach differing points of view respectfully and in an empathetic manner; and 
  3. involve their supervisor as needed to discuss how parental preferences can be appropriately and safely incorporated into the child care setting.
Examples: Providing culturally responsive care that reflects the care provided at home can be comforting to the child. Daily routines that may be adjusted based on a family’s belief system include potty training, feeding, and napping.

ECE 4.05

Information is available to help parents cope with child-rearing responsibilities.
Examples: Information provided may vary based on the needs and interests of parents and can include topics such as:
  1. child development;
  2. child health issues;
  3. transition to school; and
  4. nutrition.

Information can be provided through:
  1. pamphlets;
  2. brochures;
  3. relevant publications;
  4. newsletters;
  5. bulletin boards;
  6. seminars;
  7. parent support groups;
  8. referrals to outside providers; or
  9. other programs or media appropriate to the size and capacity of the program.

ECE 4.06

The organization is flexible and responsive to the changing needs and unique circumstances of families served.
Examples: Changing needs or unique circumstances can include job loss, military deployment, the birth of a sibling, a death in the family, serious and/or chronic health conditions, family violence, or divorce.

Examples of how an organization can demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness include:
  1. adjusting coverage schedules to accommodate changing child care needs;
  2. providing flexible care on an hourly or daily basis;
  3. referring families to local resources; and
  4. incorporating activities into the daily schedule to help children cope with stressors.